Teaching & Instruction
Teaching and effective instruction for students with learning disabilities requires specialized knowledge in the areas of spoken language, reading, writing, and math. This section contains readings that reflect knowledge of best practices and evidence based instruction within each area.
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It's a given that high-quality, ongoing, and student-focused professional development (PD) is key to improving teaching and learning. But questions about time, adult learning needs, relevancy, and technology integration plague PD coordinators, team leaders, coaches, district and school administrators, and consultants. Recently, a growing number of schools are finding answers to these compelling questions by exploring, designing, and conducting blended PD.
Mike Kersjes spent more than a decade teaching students with learning disabilities. His first special education teaching job was in an inner-city school in a cubicle that "barely fit five people," ....a "pitiful excuse for a classroom" that sent "a message to the kids who were taught there: You are worthless." Mike later began teaching at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Attention deficit disorder symptoms often interfere with classroom expectations and impact nearly all of the child's activities and interactions. But educators have developed methods and strategies that have proven successful with children with ADD. Learn some specific teaching strategies that both challenge children with ADD by presenting then with interesting activities designed to improve behavior and learning, while simultaneously providing them the support they require.
Motivation is key to school success. Just as the actor asks a director, "What is my motivation, for this scene?," the child turns to teachers, parents, and peers to discover the "why" of learning. Motivation is often defined as a need or drive that energizes behavior toward a goal.
Teach science by having students think like scientists. Scientists ask themselves questions, develop hypotheses, and test until they learn some more. They collaborate with peers and use computer programs, diagrams, pictures, videos, and other multimedia resources. These hands-on activities help all students- and are especially helpful to students with learning disabilities.
The goal of any multisensory structured language program is to develop a student's independent ability to read, write and understand the language studied.
Neil Sturomski has worked for over 20 years in the learning disabilities field. He has taught both children and adults with learning disabilities, first as a teacher in grades K-12 and then as the Director of the Night School program of the Lab School of Washington.
This article demonstrates how the number sense concept can offer a useful framework for conceptualizing interventions that will significantly enhance mathematics instruction for students with mathematical disabilities.
Mathew Jennings, a teacher from New Jersey, tells about a service-learning program with his Middle School students with learning and behavior problems that allows them to use their gifts: energy, enthusiasm, specific skills, to serve others.
Common devices, such as PDAs, cellular phones, and handheld mp3 players can be assistive tools for learners with disabilities. Learn more about these devices and their applications in the classroom and beyond.
Summer is a great time to get organized! Students who have learning disabilities frequently struggle to keep track of their school work especially digital files. When the information is lost in their computer, they waste valuable time looking for it, sometimes have to redo it, and then can't hand it in! Read this article by the Landmark School Outreach Program for a strategy that works.